In June, the UN Representative, Nigeria’s Permanent, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande was successfully elected by acclamation to preside over this year’s General Assembly, which began on Tuesday.
The 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has officially opened in New York, one week before world leaders arrive.
Briefing journalists in Geneva, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, cited the involvement of the Myanmar military in operations against Rohingya communities in Rakhine state.
The violence in Rakhine is “escalating” and there are credible reports of Rakhine men being tortured and dying in custody and Rakhine villages “being burned”, she said.
Poverty eradication, inclusion and quality education will be of top priority for the 74th session of the General Assembly, the new UN body’s President told UN News.
General Assembly President, or PGA, Mr. Muhammad-Bande said he would “collaborate and coordinate” with the Security Council, and the Secretariat “to ensure that greater attention is paid to prevention rather than reaction to full blown conflict.”
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“I will also advocate for effective early detection and warning systems, as well as mediation, negotiation and peaceful settlement of ongoing conflicts”, he promised. “I will work to engender cooperation that will address drivers of conflicts such as poverty, exclusion and illiteracy”.
Segueing into the importance of quality education, the PGA said “the fact that no nation can develop past its educational capacity, particularly that of its teachers, means we must work to ensure that Member States can partner on teacher training, access to free and quality primary and secondary education” and highlighted the urgency in devising “means to attend to the educational needs of all”.